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Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

#23 Black Joe Lewis Courtesy BlackJoe Lewis.com
BACK IN BLACK:It has been a while, but Black Joe Lewis is back with his soulful rocking May 15.
Wednesday May 15, 2024 07:30 PM EDT
Cost: $23-$28

CRITIC’S PICK: For a minute — following Lewis and his band’s critically and commercially well-received major label debut in 2009 and its followup in 2011 backed by relentless touring — it seemed like the Austin based soul/funk/rocker was set to follow in Lenny Kravitz’s footsteps. But things didn’t quite pan out for whatever reason and Lewis hasn’t released a new album since 2018. He’s on the road again though, with his terrific Honeybears band, so hopefully he’s back slinging out his hot, horn-enhanced soulful rocking because there aren’t many other outfits doing that with quite the same energy. — Hal Horowitz
$23+. 7:30 p.m. Aisle 5, 1123 Euclid Ave. NE.,Atlanta 30307. 404-549-2778. aisle5atl.com

From the venue:

Black Joe Lewis is the realest motherfucker there is. When Covid sidelined his touring, he started laying concrete to help support his baby mama and his kid. That’s fuckin’ real. When Joe and his band, the Honeybears, popped onto the national stage over a decade ago, many critics embraced him but still, there were some that maintained that they hadn’t paid their dues. Joe’s still here. Still going. Still cashing checks and snapping necks. The dues of hard work; the delirious heights of the industry as well as the disappointments and low hanging fruit. Through this all, Joe’s only honed his mastery over gut bucket blues guitar and his true voice. It’s a vital and distinctly American voice that never anticipated the attention he wound up receiving, never went looking for it either. It just started happening. The garage, the blues, the propulsive and synergistic live performances that inhabit the spaces of James Brown, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and the MC5…those things happened naturally from the very beginning and could only be accurately communicated in the live experience, not a press release or a slick brand campaign. Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin Malcolm, The Dirtbombs, Detroit Cobras, the Strange Boys; these are some of the artists that Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears shared countless bills with; almost a roll call of the most influential soul and garage bands of the last twenty five years. Has the soul blues garage explosion from that era been commodified or worked into the overall template of pop rock? Sure. But the ground floor was a vital space for people that like guitars and grease and at this point Black Joe Lewis is one of the last standing that was there. Last of a dying breed. Or maybe a missing link. Does this make him a throwback? A throwback to a throwback? It’d be tempting and easy for Joe to go along with that but nah, we don’t think so. We know that Joe Lewis is genuinely doing his thing and that he’d do it regardless of what’s coming down the pipe. A stone cold original and a veteran at that. If you like whistling in your music and some floppy hat, quaky kneed dudes cloyingly singing at you, then you might not “get it” but whatever…there are enough intrepid, degenerate weirdos that do. Those are the folks Joe cares about. Not the glad handing set. Not the fair-weather friend set getting down with the flavor of the month. Like the title of his last album says, “the difference between me and you” is Joe defining for himself that there’s the belabored wannabes and then there’s dudes that actually “HAVE the blues”...whatever the hell THAT is! Joe’s concrete pouring boss is going to miss him.
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2ce06 Acg Aisle 5 Eric Cash Magnum
1123 Euclid Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30307

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